Martinsburg, WV Fire Declared Arson

BERKELEY COUNTY, WV - Officials found that the fire that destroyed two town homes in the Capital Heights neighborhood of Martinsburg was arson.

Authorities are asking that anyone with information call the West Virginia Arson Hotline: 1-800-233-3473. They are offering a $2,500 reward for any information leading to an arrest.

The fire happened early Thursday morning. A sniffing dog was brought in and found fire accelerants at the scene. The sample has been sent to a lab to determine what substance it is.

Emergency dispatchers say the call came in around 3 a.m. for a fire at 40 Boarman Place, that spread to the next-door townhouse at 42 Boarman Place. Both homes were destroyed.

Officials say the fire seemed extremely fast-burning and a nearby surveillance camera showed unusual fire explosions.

Neighbors told firefighters they believe someone may have thrown a pipe bomb or other object to start the fire.

Officials say one family was away on vacation and another resident wasn't home when the fire started. Both families are being assisted by the American Red Cross.

"Just with some of the information that we got, we are deeming it suspicious and will be investigating it as an arson fire at this point," says Fire Chief Marty Roberts of the Baker Heights Fire Department.

Over five hours after the fire started, crews were still on the scene. The fire marshal will be investigating this incident.

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